As announced late last year, Miramax hopes to recapture its reputation as a source for innovative films by essentially making those exact same films all over again—because hey, it’s no longer the freewheeling ’90s, when ideas flowed like so much Snapple, and everyone in Hollywood was burning stacks of $100 bills just to clear the brush. These days you need a franchising strategy, which is why The Weinstein Company’s Dimension Films and Miramax are taking every available opportunity on a potential sequel to 2003’s black-comic Christmas movie Bad Santa: According to the L.A. Times, they've commissioned two separate, competing scripts for the project, with an eye on releasing the finished film as early as Christmas 2012.

Of course, while the idea is that producers will choose the best script for the most immediate follow-up, if both seem particularly inspired and/or fiscally promising, they may also use them to develop both a second and a third film. Unproduced yet “up-and-coming” screenwriters Johnny Rosenthal and John Phillips are the two voices competing to continue the misanthropic misadventures of Billy Bob Thornton’s Willie Stokes, and while director Terry Zwigoff likely won't be involved, Thornton is reportedly eager to return to the role that briefly made his natural inherent revulsion at all forms of mewling, pitiful human life seem sort of lovable.

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